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First PCC granted fire service responsibility

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Roger Hirst will have oversight of two emergency services.


Essex PCC Roger Hirst will be police and fire commissioner

Essex PCC Roger Hirst has been granted responsibility for his county’s fire and rescue service.

The Home Office announced the move, a first in England hailing it as “an important step” in its collaboration drive.

The department also claimed that the change will bring greater accountability to the fire service.

Conservative Mr Hirst, a former cabinet holder at Essex County Council, said: “By ensuring a more joined-up response to incidents, providing crime and fire prevention advice, creating community safety hubs, and sharing buildings we can improve how we work and generate significant savings which can then be reinvested back into front line services.

“Essex has always been an innovative and forward thinking county as shown by the support we have received for this proposal. Together we can do more to improve the service we give to the public and help keep people safe.”

He will take on the extra responsibility from October. The current Essex Fire Authority, which oversees the service, will be abolished.

Policing and Fire Minister Nick Hurd praised the move.

He said: “I want to see our emergency services continue to drive closer collaboration to encourage joint working, the sharing of best practice and more innovative thinking. 

“Having a directly accountable leader overseeing policing and fire will help both services enhance their effectiveness, maximise available resources, boost local resilience and improve the services delivered to the public.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the benefits this will bring to the local area."

Several other PCCs have applied to take on similar responsibilities.

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